Scripps to Host Annual Brain Injury Rehabilitation Conference

Keynote will be given by Dr. Bennet Omalu, physician who identified CTE in football players

Brain Injury 2016 Cover

Experts from across the country will gather in San Diego March 11 and 12 for the 11th annual Brain Injury Rehabilitation Conference hosted by The Rehabilitation Center at Scripps Health. Bennet Omalu, M.D., will deliver the event’s keynote speech “Don’t Break the Rules, Change the Game: How Bennet Omalu Single-handedly Changed American Football, Professional Sports, and How the World Perceives Traumatic Brain Injuries.”

The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Conference is designed to provide a clear understanding of the need for multidisciplinary strategies in the management of patients with brain injuries. A renowned faculty of specialists will present the latest in research and outcomes from a variety of medical perspectives. Topics include state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques, interventions, and management for medical and physical rehabilitation, as well as cognitive, emotional and social problems common to brain injury patients.

“Each year we are honored to bring together the best and brightest minds in the field of traumatic brain injury and rehabilitation,” said Michael Lobatz, M.D., neurologist and medical director of neurosciences at Scripps. “This conference offers education to the entire scope of caregivers, including physicians, researchers, nurses and physical therapists.”

The public is invited to purchase tickets to the keynote session with Dr. Omalu, for a registration fee of $35 per person. The event will take place at the Liberty Station Conference Center, 2600 Laning Road in San Diego.

Keynote Session with Dr. Bennet Omalu
As chronicled in the recently released film “Concussion,” Dr. Omalu’s story is one of triumph in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Born in 1968 in Eastern Nigeria during a time of civil war, he and his family lived as refugees with their town under constant fire by the Nigerian Air Force. Despite his hardships, Dr. Omalu would go on to attend medical school at the age of 15 and become a physician by age 21.

In 2002, Dr. Omalu made a career breakthrough when he became the first doctor to discover and identify chronic brain damage as a major factor in the deaths of select professional athletes. He called the disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which he discovered after performing an autopsy on Mike Webster, a former player for the Pittsburgh Steelers and member of the football Hall of Fame, who died at age 50. Webster’s brain revealed something doctors had never seen before and within five years of reporting on Webster’s case, Dr. Omalu went on to identify CTE in eight more deceased NFL players. He was also the first to discover CTE in military veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as in professional wrestlers. Today CTE has become an accepted diagnosis in the medical community and Dr. Omalu’s findings have revolutionized neuroscience, sports medicine and safety, as well as the study of brain trauma.

Rehabilitation Services at Scripps
The Rehabilitation Center at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas is a comprehensive rehabilitation facility in northern San Diego County, providing a full range of rehabilitation services with specialization in neuroscience services. It was the first facility in the area to be fully accredited in brain injury by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)—the gold standard for medical rehabilitation facilities—and is an entrusted provider to the United States military, caring for returning servicemen suffering from combat-related traumatic brain injuries.

Learn more about Scripps Health, a nonprofit integrated health system in San Diego, Calif.

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Kristin Reinhardt
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